Plastics are used, due to their excellent properties, as materials in a growing number of applications. Recently, the subject of microplastics in the environment and the food chain has been discussed extensively. Several studies show the magnitude of the pollution of microplastics in sewage treatment plants, waters (rivers and lakes), oceans and shore sections, as well as fishes, mussels and ... [Show full abstract] invertebrates. Plastics decompose under the influence of various environmental factors. Generally, plastic particles with a size of less than five millimeters are referred to as microplastic particles. This article gives an overview of the term “microplastics”. It describes the definition, occurrences, sources and analytical testing approaches in general, and at WESSLING in particular. Also, additional investigations that are required to develop validated methods for sampling and analysis are discussed, after clarification of the potential risk to various organisms. © 2016, Hungarian National Commiteee of the European Organization for quality. All rights reserved.